Down with fast fashion: how conscious should we be of our clothing purchases? Tips to reduce clothing waste…
Fast fashion is a part of everyone’s life whether they like it or not. Large companies are constantly pushing the latest trend or accessory and it’s hard to avoid feeling tempted by their offers. Although these big companies are making a buck they are also making massive impacts on the environment. ‘Oh no here come the greenies!!’. It isn’t hard to be conscious of your choices without feeling like you’re being bombarded by environmental fanatics.
Large fashion brands goal is to push as many new trends as quickly as possible, with a fast turnover and low cost. Not only is it the waste of clothes themselves that can be an issue, the dye used in vibrant garments are created with toxic chemicals which have often not been disposed of correctly. Textile dyeing is the second largest polluter of clean water globally.
Most people don’t think about cotton farming as a part of the fashion industry, as it’s at the base root of the manufacturing line. Most cotton is genetically modified to be resistant to certain pests but this can have repercussions and lead to issues down the line such as the emergence of ‘super-weeds’ often resistant to pesticides.
With disposable income levels increasing there is less of a need to make do or mend what we have. All these issues are something that few take into consideration regarding their impact on the environment. There are a few ways in which people can be mindful of their purchases without feeling guilt surrounding their purchases.
- Op Shopping
This one is a pretty simple one. Many people take the time to go op shopping purely to search for something unique or vintage. Other use it to salvage old goods and remake them into something new. It’s an easy way to recycle clothing, often from high end of popular brands, at a lower cost.
- Buying from smaller brands and individual designers
Smaller designers, who often themselves recycle clothing, are a great way to give back for their hard work and buy something unique. Up and coming designers often find it difficult to compete with large scale companies due to the sheer scale of the clothing being pumped out. Not only is it a way to give back, it also allows people to explore different styles and find something from a niche market that suits them.
(and you won’t often be seen in the same outfit as someone else at an event)
- Hand me Downs
Even if you yourself won’t necessarily benefit from handing down clothes to a younger relative, it gives an opportunity for someone else to cherish your once beloved items. It also creates less waste, so instead of throwing your clothes straight into the bin, take a moment to give into the gaze of your younger sibling who has been eyeing off a certain piece of clothing for months, if not years.
- First Hand recycling
Not everyone is handy with a needle and thread, but altering your own clothes to something new can reduce a lot of waste from the wardrobe. Cutting a dress that’s too short into a mid-riff top to reuse can give a piece of clothing a new life. There’s a plethora of online tutorials and videos that can give ideas to recreate your wardrobe with zero waste!
Although it requires a bit more effort, just a couple of these ideas can give an opportunity to reduce your footprint. Not only can it reduce the waste you’re creating, it can also brush up on your year nine home economics skills that may need to be used once mums not about to help with stitching up dresses. It isn’t hard to be conscious of your everyday sustainability, but just one step at a time can significantly impact the environment.